The Internet recently blew up with a rapid spread of link sharing surrounding the video/site thewildernessdowntown.com for a song off of Arcade Fire’s latest album “Suburbs.”
Why did this music video garner so much attention? Because it puts you inside the future of the Web, showing off every trick in the HTML 5 book.
Arcade Fire are not new to using the Web to build hype around their albums. During their last release, “Neon Bible,” they slowly trickled out cryptic links on a site with weird videos and seemingly dead end links. This Neon Bible site was a very interesting one, but music listeners are now using more mobile Web-based devices to listen to music. And the difference between their new site and their old? These fans using iPhones and Droids can go to the new site and view it in its full glory. If they go to the Neon Bible site? Nothing.
The future of Flash is definitely uncertain. What “The Wilderness Downtown” shows us is that you can doing amazingly interactive things on the web with HTML 5 that were before only possible with the use of Flash. As with many things web-based, the only thing holding up this advancement is the ongoing “browser war.” And I believe Google wanted to show us that Chrome is King with this experiment because, while working well on other WebKit-based browsers (Safari and most mobile phones), the video definitely runs the smoothest on Chrome.
As unique as The Wilderness Downtown is, it’s fascinating that the song and video experience almost become secondary to the actual making of this project. Google, Arcade Fire, and HTML 5 provided us with an exciting experiment and a good look at the possibilities new technologies will bring to us.
Also makes for quite a nice advertisement for them all, don’t you think?